Business, Economics and Jobs

German president asks Angela Merkel to explain euro crisis better


The awkward couple. Former East German rights activist Joachim Gauck, the likely new president, and German chancellor Angela Merkel.



BERLIN, Germany — Speaking on behalf of all those whose eyes glaze over at the words "euro crisis," German President Joachim Gauck has told Chancellor Angela Merkel that she needs to explain Europe's economic upheaval more clearly.

In an interview with German TV channel ZDF aired last night, Gauck said the chancellor had a duty to describe "in great detail" what her policies meant for ordinary Germans – something, he said, that politicians often fail to do.

"Sometimes it's too laborious to explain what's at stake," Gauck said, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung's transcription. "And sometimes there's a lack of energy to tell the public very openly about what's really going on."

More from GlobalPost: The euro zone's bailout, in plain English

The president, who is not elected and occupies a chiefly ceremonial role, offered to help the government with communication.

Help is certainly needed, according to the opposition. Thomas Oppermann, the parliamentary speaker for the left-wing SPD party, told Der Spiegel that when it comes to tackling the crisis, there's "now a real problem that many voters no longer understand the policies." 

That doesn't seem to be doing Merkel any harm: in the latest poll by the ARD public broadcaster, her approval ratings were at 66 percent – eight percent higher than the month before. And 58 percent said Merkel was handling the crisis correctly and decisively.

Nonetheless, an even greater majority – 85 percent, up seven percent from June – thought that the worst was still to come.

More from GlobalPost: How soccer is like the euro crisis